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Old 06-19-2002, 08:12 PM   #1
lmanchur.
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Default [NHL Entry Draft] No.1 Pick?

Who will go #1 on Saturday in the NHL Entry Draft, the first of a 2-day/9-round draft event held at the ACC in Toronto?

I'm going with the #1 ranked player in North America, Jay Bouwmeester. This guy got game. If the Panthers keep the #1 pick, they'd be dumb not to get him. This guy is going to be a primeir offensive defensman in the NHL one day... maybe as good as guys like Blake and Coffey back in his day. He's big and skates and handles the puck beautifully.

I think the first goalie to go will be the #1 ranked European netminder... that Finish guy. He put on a show at the WJHC.

And then there's Rick Nash -- SAME AGE AS I AM!!!!! and will undoubtedly be drafted this year. Scotty Upshall is a very mature forward and I could go on and on about the rest of the Canadians up there 'cuz I know them all from watching the WJHCs over the past few years.... I don't know many of the European guys but I think that at least 3 of the Top5 picks will be North American ones. We can't have two non-Canadians go first overall three years in a row now, can we?

Panthers need defense and Jay Bouwmeester is the complete package.


INTERSESTING STAT: the last 5 #1 picks have gone on to play in the NHL the year immediately following the draft.
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:59 PM   #2
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1st Pick - Florida

Bouwmeester should go #1 he has a ton of potential. He is also physically ready to make a run at their roster in his first season. I do however caution Florida to play him with a veteran stay-at-home d-man.

Bouwmeester leaves his defensive post on every opportunity presented to him. In Medicine Hat of the WHL, he can use his speed to get back in the play, but he got caught multiple times in the WJC and lucky for team Canada they had Nick Schultz there bailing him out. I counted probably 4 or 5 occasions throughout the tournament where this happened.


#2 - Atlanta

This could be interesting. I would say goalie Kari Lehtonen stands a good chance at being taken by Atlanta who already has two young top prospects in Heatley and Kovalchuk. The other possibility is that they deal the pick off and pick up a quality veteran player. Still another possibility is they make the two-some a three-some and add Nash to the prospect list.


#3 - Columbus

If Atlanta takes Lehtonen, Columbus should take Nash. If however Atlanta takes Nash I would expect Columbus to at Pitkanen, a big Finnish D'man.

#4 - Tampa Bay

Tampa really has nobody in the system behind the Bulin wall and I expect they will be looking to add a top prospect goaltender. I think they will be hoping that Lehtonen slips down to them, but that might not happen. If it doesnt, they may opt for one of the physical d-men in Whitney or Pitkanen.

#5 Pittsburgh

I see Pitsburgh picking up a guy like Alexander Semin.



________________________________
There are a few other players that will play into the decisions on draft day.



JOFFREY LUPUL.
Lupul is a teammate of Jay Bouwmeester, and in my opinion is the number 1 prospect in this draft. Yes, I am saying this kid SHOULD be the guy being drafted #1. As an 18 year old he lead the WHL in goals and finished 2nd for points.

He had a late growth spurt and was never drafted in the WHL bantam draft, just like Jerome Iginla. He walked into training camp in Medicine Hat much taller and bigger, and earned a spot on the club putting up 56 pts that 1st year.

A year later, this past season he was even bigger still, approaching 190 lbs, and he started lighting up the WHL. He got passed up by Team Canada likely cause nobody ever thought he would be at the level he is so quickly. Scouting reports still billed him as a good shot with bad skating. Little did they know that his leg strength has dramatically improved along with his overall strength. "Good shot not nearly the skater Nash is" they said.

To that I say Ha! Lupul made it into the Top Prospects game for the CHL and got to play against guys like Bouwmeester, NAsh, Hudler, etc etc. As well, they do skills competitions like the 60' dash, 150' dash and full lap, hardest shot etc. He was ahead of Nash in every one of the timed races, and he was ahead of Bouwmeester in all of them excep the full lap. Not bad for a guy who is still being billed as a bad skater.

Lupul reminds me alot of someone else I watched in the WHL. Joe Sakic. Lupul possess Sakic accurate quick release wrist shot that surprises goalies. Lupul could easily develop into a 50 goalscorer at the NHL level, and he is the best offensive threat in the draft this year.


Other Players
Scottie Upshall, is a solid two-way forward that is gonna be one of the best agitators in the league. People compare him to Darcy Tucker of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jarret Stoll. Stoll was drafted by the Flames two years ago in the second round but couldnt strike a deal with the Flames before the June 1st deadline and he is now re-entering the 2002 Entry draft. He is a better prospect now that he was two years ago and could very possibly be grabbed in the middle-late 1st round.



oops that got long
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Jacques Lemaire earns his 300th Career NHL Regular Season victory as the Wild defeated Florida 4 to 1.

Lemaires nephew, Manny Fernandez, turned aside 30 shots to earn the win. Bill Muckalt ended his 76 game scoring funk by netting 2 goals and 18 year old rookie Pierre-Marc Bouchard earns his 2nd NHL assist in as many games.
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Old 06-21-2002, 07:39 AM   #3
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Good breakdown.... If Florida picks Bouwmeester #1... and Atlanta gets Nash #2.......... damn! -- look at that #1 line for Atlanta: Nash-Heatley-Kovalchuk!!! .... but Nash still has 1 year of high school left so it will be 1 or 2 or 3 seasons till that combo gets together but it's definitely something to look forward too.

And don't worry about long posts, I'll read 'em all
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Old 06-21-2002, 01:35 PM   #4
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Fans in the Atlanta area would certainly have alot to talk about if the Thrashers pick up Nash. The possbility of Nash, Heatley, Kovalchuk would be a talented and entertaining line to watch. If that doesnt draw fans Im not sure what would.


For Minnesota I am really hoping that everyone missed the CSS Final Report and doesnt know about Lupul. I really hope that the Wild get him.

In two years we could see Gaborik-Koivu-Lupul; sounds pretty good to me
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Jacques Lemaire earns his 300th Career NHL Regular Season victory as the Wild defeated Florida 4 to 1.

Lemaires nephew, Manny Fernandez, turned aside 30 shots to earn the win. Bill Muckalt ended his 76 game scoring funk by netting 2 goals and 18 year old rookie Pierre-Marc Bouchard earns his 2nd NHL assist in as many games.
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Old 06-22-2002, 09:11 AM   #5
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Ya..... and you know that Gaborik in a few years is going to have a breakthrough year like Iginla did this year. He has that kind of potential. I don't know Lupul (was he in the WJHC? I forget) but Gaborik and Miku Koivu is already a good #1 line!
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